Doesn't Hurt to Ask Book Summary - Doesn't Hurt to Ask Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Doesn't Hurt to Ask summary

Trey Gowdy

Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade

4.3 (656 ratings)
22 mins
Table of Contents

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Persuasion is a subtle art, and questions are its greatest tools.

    Are you ready to start winning every argument you ever have? Are you ready to grind your opponents into the ground with your debating skills?

    Then these blinks are not for you.

    Persuasion isn’t about annihilating your opponents. It’s about listening to them, communicating with them, and advocating for your own beliefs in a compelling way. Think about it: how many times have you changed your mind because someone kept bombarding you with their opinions?

    Questions work so well because they put the focus on your conversation partner, and nudge them in the right direction without making them react defensively. The author knows about this firsthand. He only got into law after a friend’s mom asked him a bunch of really great questions.

    The key message here is: Persuasion is a subtle art, and questions are its greatest tools.

    The author had always planned to work construction jobs with a friend when he’d finished high school. One day though, his friend’s mom picked up on the topic. She asked him, “What are you going to do next, honey?” After he answered, she asked a follow-up question. And then another one. And another one. By the end of the interview, he had decided that he wanted to become a lawyer.

    His friend’s mother didn’t make a single evaluative statement to persuade him – she simply let him persuade himself. That’s the power of asking questions.

    Now, let’s make one thing clear before you get started: there is such a thing as a stupid question. One time during a robbery trial, the author’s witness reported that the suspect “had a blue bag in his hand.” The author immediately fired off a follow-up question: “Okay, what color was the blue bag?” The laughter that ensued in the courtroom should be proof enough that stupid questions do exist.

    Still, any stupid question is better than a stupid assertion. Imagine someone asking you, “Who wrote Hamlet?” That question reveals a pretty big knowledge gap. But now imagine someone telling you, “George Washington wrote Hamlet.” That’s not just a knowledge gap; that’s a knowledge gap the person isn’t even aware of. Who would you trust more in an honest debate – a person who is uninformed, or a person who is misinformed?

    Want to see all full key ideas from Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    Key ideas in Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Doesn't Hurt to Ask about?

    Doesn’t Hurt to Ask (2020) teaches the subtle art of persuasion through one unconventional tool: asking questions. Former congressman Trey Gowdy explains how thoughtful questions can help you reach your audience, communicate your message, and win people over – whether that’s in a courtroom, a business meeting, or at the dinner table.

    Best quote from Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    The art of persuasion is not about winning people over but bringing people closer together.

    —Trey Gowdy
    example alt text

    Who should read Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    • Exhausted parents looking to win their kids over in arguments
    • Politically engaged people who want to advocate for their beliefs more effectively
    • Anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills in their private or professional lives

    About the Author

    Trey Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor and district attorney from South Carolina. In 2010, he was elected to Congress, where he chaired the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Select Committee on Benghazi. With his friend Tim Scott, he co-authored the New York Times best seller Unified – How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country.

    Categories with Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    Books like Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial